Disney's Fantasmic!, World of Color, and the Festival of Fantasy parade will return to Disney theme parks in the United States in 2022, and Epcot's Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Paris' Avengers Campus will open next summer, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro announced at the Destination D23 event this morning.
D'Amaro kicked off the event with an overview of upcoming projects and returning attractions at Disney theme parks around the world. He did not provide specific reopening dates, but closed the presentation by announcing that Fantasmic! will return to Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios, World of Color will return to Disney California Adventure, and Festival of Fantasy will return to the Magic Kingdom next year.
As for new projects, D'Amaro revealed that Disney's second Avengers Campus will open in summer 2022 in the Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris. That land will include a retheme of the former Rock 'n Roller Coaster with an Avengers theme.
For the Walt Disney World Resort, D'Amaro noted that work has resume on the delayed TRON Lightcycle Run coaster from Shanghai Disneyland that is coming to the Magic Kingdom, but D'Amaro said only that it will be "coming soon," without providing any other clue as to an opening date.
D'Amaro said that the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind indoor coaster will open in summer 2022 at Epcot and revealed that Glenn Close will reprise her role as Nova Prime for the attraction.
D'Amaro also revealed two new looks at the "Wonders of Xandar" pavilion that will set up the attraction.
Also in Epcot, D'Amaro announced that the name for Electric Umbrella's replacement will be Connections Cafe.
For Disneyland, D'Amaro announced that Magic Bands will be coming to the west coast next year, in the form of the new Magic Band+. He noted that the functionality will vary from their use at the Walt Disney World Resort, but provided no other details today. The new Hey Disney digital assistant also will debut at Disneyland Resort hotels in 2022.
In addition, D'Amaro said that construction will begin in January 2022 on a new project to replace the old AMC Theaters building in Downtown Disney.
"Drawing inspiration from Southern California mid-century modern architecture, the area will be a beautiful blend of vibrant color palettes, multi-cultural design elements and patterns, an open lawn for relaxation and future events, and an even broader collection of dining and shopping," Disneyland announced in a press release. The project will mean the closure - for real this time - of Earl of Sandwich, Sugarboo & Co. and the west end Starbucks Coffee in January.
On the Disney Cruise Line's, the Disney Wish will debut two new shows when it launches this summer. Seas the Adventure will be the first show to feature Captain Minnie and will wrap the first day of each cruise. In addition, the Disney Wish will present a new live version of Disney's The Little Mermaid, with a reimagined script that provides "a modern and innovative take on a young woman learning the power of her voice," according to Disney.
Finally, D'Amaro announced that Disney will publish a new book series inspired by the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, starting with Julie Kagawa's "Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coat" on April 5, 2022.
Otherwise, D'Amaro recapped previously announced projects from the Disney Parks, including Hong Kong Disneyland's Frozen land, Tokyo DisneySea's Fantasy Springs port, Shanghai Disneyland's Zootopia land, the Disneyland Hotel's proposed DVC tower, the Mickey's Toontown reimagining at Disneyland, and Epcot's Dreamers Point. He also hosted an on-stage presentation of the prototype "Project EXO" exoskeleton from Walt Disney Imagineering that will form the basis of a walk-around Hulk character (though everyone worked very hard not to say the word "Hulk," as Disney can't use that name at the Walt Disney World Resort).
D'Amaro also showed off on stage the "real" lightsaber from the upcoming Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World and showed a brief video of him touring the new facility.
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